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Thirteen Common Sense Career Change Do's & Don't's

  1. Recall your most enjoyable accomplishments and experiences, especially those that are deeply felt & emotionally fulfilling, and imagine venues, occasions and the means to do them again.

  2. Keep a career journal/diary to collect all your positive thoughts, idea-associations, insights, and leads that occur to you as you recall your most enjoyable accomplishments and activities.

  3. Regularly affirm all of your skills, assets, and best attributes, and remind yourself that with energy, optimism, and persistence you will find a place to use them.

  4. Identify people you know (or better still, people who know people you know) who are doing what you think you might want to do; these people are ‘targets’ for your information-gathering interviews.

  5. Do not try to convert an information-gathering interview into a job interview.

  6. Don’t expect people you know (those most likely to want to help you) to know enough about ‘what you think you might want to do’ to help you. Studies show that you are most likely to locate appropriate information beyond your ‘inner circle’ of contacts, that is, separated from you by two or more ‘degrees of separation’.

  7. Find out what the ‘targets’ like and don’t like about their job/work/career, who else they know who does similar activities, and how they got there.

  8. Scour their network of 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation of contacts (or degrees of separation) to glean information about -- and leads to -- others who may be doing what you’d like to do.

  9. In your diary/journal, keep track of all conversations, idea-associations, leads, and available sources of information from these information-gathering interviews, and public and private leads.

  10. Prepare one resume and one personal profile or one-page bio for each new career direction you wish to research or examine(up to a maximum of four).

  11. ‘Test drive’ job interviews to practice for the real thing…first for jobs you don’t necessarily want, and then for those you do want.

  12. Volunteer, if necessary, to try out a job or career on for size, so you can see if it fits who you are.

  13. Keep changing jobs or careers until you find the right one, the best one, the inevitable one…the one that engages you in “work that’s a worthy expression of who you are”. Then make it your own.


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